About NIna Mansfield:
I am a Connecticut based writer of plays and fiction. My first novel, SWIMMING ALONE, a young adult mystery, was published this year by Fire & Ice YA. I began my writing career as a playwright, and I have had many plays produced throughout the United States and internationally. Most recently, I’ve had plays produced in Peru and Scotland. When I am not writing, I enjoy seeing theater, traveling, practicing yoga, scrapbooking, gardening and spending time with my husband and daughter. I live a short train ride away from New York City, so I try to see as many Broadway, off-Broadway and off-off-Broadway plays as I can. I also live a short walk away from Long Island Sound, and I love spending time at the beach.
What inspires you to write?
Whenever I feel like I need inspiration, I head to the beach. The beach relaxes me, and if I am ever feeling blocked as a writer, a little time at the beach will get me writing again. There is something both calming and mysterious about the water. And as a mystery writer, the mysterious aspect is extremely helpful!
Tell us about your writing process.
My process is a little different for each project. For my debut novel, SWIMMING ALONE, I had an idea and started writing. I had no idea where the story was going to go. Once I had written enough to know where my story was heading, I began to outline. I actually created a number of different outlines, because as I continued to write, the story kept changing on me. Eventually I had a “bad rough draft.” I always like to let a story sit for little while and then look at it with fresh eyes. And then, I spend a lot of time revising.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Hmmm… I think I let my characters speak through me. My background is in theater and acting. Way back when I was a struggling actor in NYC, I performed with several improv troupes. I often bring that improv training to the table when my characters begin to speak or narrate. I try to put myself in each character’s shoes to figure out the truth behind their situation. What are they feeling? What would they say or do if these were the given circumstances?
What advice would you give other writers?
Be patient and take a lot of time to revise your work. After you’ve written a rough draft, set it aside for a while (a month at least) so that you can really look at it with fresh eyes.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I wanted to find a publisher who really believed in the novel. When I came across Fire & Ice YA, I thought they might be a good fit. It turns out, I was right. They loved SWIMMING ALONE, and I have really enjoyed working with them.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think that readers will continue to demand quality fiction and nonfiction. There are so many choices these days, and so many diversions. When people choose a book, they are making a commitment to spend time with a story and and an author. Writers will need to continue to produce quality writing to keep readers interested.
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: Fiction, Mystery, Young Adult, Chick Lit, Plays
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit, to allow you, the reader, to hear the author in their own voice.